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An Illustrated Guide: 5 Art Projects To Try During Social Distancing

5 Art Assignments To Keep You Busy At Home
LA Johnson

Updated on May 7, 2020 at 12:08 a.m. ET

Looking for a creative outlet? Sarah Urist Green shares ideas for fun art projects you can do at home during the coronavirus outbreak. (These are a great activity for kids and adults alike.) If you try one, share your creation with us at lifekit@npr.org.

Sarah Urist Green is on a mission to change the way we think about creativity. "Creativity is overrated," she says flatly. What she means is that you don't have to feel creative in order to make art. You don't have to think of yourself as an artist to make art. You don't need a degree or fancy materials to make art. All you need is to just do it.

(Listen to an interview with Green from NPR Life Kit at the top of the page, or find it here.)

And in her new book, You Are An Artist, she hopes to take the elements of fear and decision-making out of art-making.

"Maybe you don't know what kind of art feels good or right," Green says. "These exercises can help you figure that out."

Green has spent years working with contemporary artists to highlight their processes and work through her PBS video series, The Art Assignment. Together, the artists and curator built a workbook of art projects derived from the artists' approach to art-making. "When you read about the artist's approach, it helps you understand deeper."

The projects, thankfully, can be done in isolation and shared virtually. Whether you have a background in art or not is not important to Green.

"Making the most of what you have and being creative with materials found anywhere."

Here are five of the projects from the book that you can do today, whether you're 9 or 90, without any expensive materials or experience:

Sarah Urist Green
LA Johnson / NPR
Lonnie Holley
Nathaniel Russell
Paula McCartney
Lenka Clayton
Toyin Ojih Odutola

Share your creation with us on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #stayhomemakeart or send an email with a photo to lifekit@npr.org.

You Are An Artist is coming out April 14 from Penguin Random House. You can preorder it now.

The audio portion of this story was produced by Andee Tagle.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LA Johnson is an art director and illustrator at NPR. She joined in 2014 and has a BFA from The Savannah College of Art and Design.